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17.6: Medical Applications

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    • 17.6.1: Recombinant Protein Production
      Recombinant DNA technology has many uses in basic scientific research to better understand the nature of living things. As a tool, recombinant DNA technology can be used to express proteins towards medical applications. Prior to biotechnology, type I diabetes (insulin-dependent) was treated by injection of insulin isolated from the pancreas of pigs. With the ability to express human proteins inside bacteria, yeast, and other cells, sacrificing pigs for porcine insulin is no longer necessary.
    • 17.6.2: Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization
      How can we confirm that a person has a specific chromosomal abnormality? The first method was simply to obtain a sample of their cells, stain the chromosomes with Giemsa dye, and examine the results with a light microscope. Each chromosome can be recognized by its length, the location of its centromere, and the characteristic pattern of purple bands produced by the Giemsa.
    • 17.6.3: Microarrays
      DNA microarrays, for example, can be used to determine all of the genes that are being expressed in a given tissue, simultaneously. Microarrays employ a grid (or array) made of rows and columns on a glass slide, with each box of the grid containing many copies of a specific molecule, say a single-stranded DNA molecule corresponding to the sequence of a single unique gene.
    • 17.6.4: Immunoassays
    • 17.6.5: Gene Therapy

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